Monday, November 29, 2010


Hey everyone, I’m sorry I haven’t been writing on my blog this past week, but as some of you know that belong to my e-mail list, my computer caught a virus! In all the years that I have had a computer and internet service, I was one of the lucky ones. I never got a virus. I read about everyone else around me getting them, but not me! That is until Thanksgiving evening!

I got a pop up from my tool bar on the bottom of my screen and it said it was from Windows and said that my computer had been infected with multiple viruses. Yikes, more than one? So I clicked on the message and it told me to click on it again and it would scan my computer to locate where the viruses was. Little did I know that my computer was not infected until I clicked for them to run the scanner. The so called scanner was not deleting any virus, IT WAS ADDING THE VIRUS! From then on in, I couldn’t get on the internet or retrieve or read my e-mails. Instead I kept getting pop ups and pornography sent to me and it would ask if I wanted to get rid of this virus to pay with a credit card for the software that would get rid of “my problem.”

By this time, I alerted my brother who does trouble shooting with computer problems for a living. He told me not to respond to these pop ups. He told me to run my virus program already on my computer to see if that could help get rid of the virus. All this did was go through everything on my computer and locate the many viruses that were now sitting on my computer. There were many Trojans installed, but they couldn’t remove them. So my brother took my computer home with him and had it back to me in two days. I was so thankful!

What was life like without my computer? Well for one thing, I couldn’t write this blog. I couldn’t get onto my e-mail list. For that fact, I couldn’t get on anyone’s e-mail list! No more Facebook, no more researching, no more connecting with people that I normally wouldn’t connect with if it weren’t for the computer. It’s a sad fact how we’ve become so used to the internet for so many things. It makes one wonder how we got along without it.

Anyway, I just wanted to touch base with you all. I hope to have another blog up in a couple of days. I have some other pressing things that I need to get to that I wasn’t able to do without my computer. So once that gets done, I’ll be back writing on here again.

Watch out for those viruses. When you least expect it……there it is. It can come from anywhere and like my brother said the people (lowlifes) that do this kind of stuff are becoming more and more advanced. They have you believing what they send to you is legitimate. It’s not. So beware my friends. Have a great day everyone!

From the book: "THE ART OF COMPUTER VIRUS RESEARCH AND DEFENSE"....."Of all the computer-related books I've read recently, this one influenced my thoughts about security the most. There is very little trustworthy information about computer viruses. Peter Szor is one of the best virus analysts in the world and has the perfect credentials to write this book."

Monday, November 22, 2010


Thank you to those of you who played along with my little quiz that I posted here on Friday. You put your thinking caps on and sent me your answers. Some of them you got right and of course, the others you got wrong. Someone got 99% of the answers correct. Everyone got one of the questions wrong. That was the question about who wrote the memorial for LaMar Kuhns and her husband read it at the Arizona National Specialty show. Many of you thought it was Connie Beckhardt. See the correct answer below. So here are the answers to my little quiz.

The handler that said “I can finish anything” was Jimmy Moses. Someone wrote to tell me that Jerry Guzman says this as well. Come to think of it, probably many handlers would say this to someone when asked if they could finish their dog.

The handler that said, “Give me a spooky dog to show. They always move, was LaMar Kuhns. I don’t know how well he’d do with a dog like this today as the judges are not as tolerant of spooky temperament in their ring.

The two litter sisters that were Grand Victrix was Anton’s Jenny and Anton’s Jessie. Everyone got that right.

The person that wrote the memorial tribute for LaMar Kuhns was Jane Dove and her husband Sylvan Dove read it at the 1984 National Specialty show in Arizona.

There were two writers of “This is the German Shepherd” book and they were Ernest Hart and William Goldbecker.

The editor of the GSD Review in 1985 was Lois Fryslin.

If a dog produces his phenotype, this means he produces himself……what he looks like.

The GSD Specialty club that Ed Barritt still belongs to and still stewards at most years but no longer lives in that state is the Mohawk Hudson Club in New York.

If your dog is diagnosed as having SIBO, those letters stand for “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.”

The first ROM import since 1967 was Ch Jim v Fiemereck ROM

The people that used to advertise in the GSD Review and put on the bottom of their ads, “Records live, opinions die” were Ralph and Mary Roberts.

The Grand Victor whose father was a Grand Victor and he himself produced two Grand Victors and one Grand Victrix who lost one of his Grand Victor sons to bloat was GV Ch Mannix of Fran-Jo ROM.

The person that writes “Inside the German Shepherd Dog’s World” is me!

The person that writes the National Specialty show blogs is Evan Ginsberg

The German Shepherd Dog family of handlers are the Dancosses……Henry, Sandy and Leslie.

“Rex the wonder dog” was owned by breeder/exhibitor/judge, Joe Bihari.

If a dog is said to have the initials EPI then this means he has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.

The white German Shepherd Dog is the dog that is disqualified if he was in the ring. (Note: I said excused…..should be disqualified, but most of you knew what I was talking about).

All of these dogs would be disqualified: nose not predominately black, down with an undershot jaw, dog with hanging ears and the dog that tried to bite the judge.

That’s it for today, so once again, thanks for joining in.

My rating: refreshing your memory on trivia about the German Shepherd Dog: (4)

Friday, November 19, 2010


So you think you know the German Shepherd dog and the people associated with them. Put your thinking cap on. Here you go. Just for fun!

What handler said: "I can finish anything?"

What handler said: "Give me a spooky dog to show. They always move."

What two litter sisters went Grand Victrix?

Who wrote the memorial tribute for LaMar Kuhns and her husband read it at the 1984 National Specialty Show in Arizona?

Who wrote the book "This is the German Shepherd?"

Who was the editor of the GSD Review in 1985?

If a dog is advertised as producing his phenotype, what does that mean?

What GSD Specialty club does Ed Barritt still belong to and most years still stewards at but he no longer lives in that state?

If your dog is diagnosed as having SIBO, what do those letters stand for?

I was the first ROM import since 1967, who am I?

Who used to advertise in the Review and put on the bottom of their ads: "Records live, opinions die?"

I came from a famous kennel. I was a Grand Victor. My father was a Grand Victor and I produced two Grand Victor sons and a Grand Victrix daughter. I had one good hip and one that was a little off. Me and my father before me lived long healthy lives but one of my Grand Victor sons was not as lucky. He bloated and died. Who am I?

I write “Inside the German Shepherd Dog’s World.” Who am I?

I write a blog from the German Shepherd Dog Club National Specialty shows these last several years. Who am I?

What are the names of the German Shepherd Dog family of handlers that consisted of father, mother and child that dominated the show ring back in the 1980’s and the child still handles today?

What well known breeder/exhibitor/judge owned “Rex the wonder dog?”

With some of today's dog's you might see attached many different awards or titles at the end of his name, for hips, health and obedience titles that he may have earned. You'll see them identified with a gazillion initials. If you hear the initials EPI associated with a certain dog, is that a good thing and what does it stand for?

At a specialty show, a judge has standing before her five German Shepherd Dogs. Which dog has to be excused? The roach backed Shepherd, the long coated Shepherd, the white Shepherd, the dog with four missing molars, the overshot mouth Shepherd?

The following day at the next specialty show, the judge has the following dogs in her ring. Which dog has to be excused? The dog that has a nose that is not predominantly black, the dog with the undershot jaw, the dog with hanging ears or the dog that tries to bite the judge?

So how do you think that you did? Do you think you got them all right? Share your answers with us and see how many of them you got right. Let's see who the first one is to get them all right, then on Monday I'll post the answers here to these questions.

My rating: German Shepherd trivia: (4)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I would say that I’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of quotations and little sayings. I just love discovering some profound “words of wisdom” in a sentence or two or even a short paragraph. It’s always nice to see credit given to the original author of these quotations but sometimes the author is unknown but not any less worthy of having his thoughts shared with those who care to keep him company. So here’s a piece that I ran across recently and how I’ve added my own “words of wisdom” to include my thoughts about the German Shepherd Dog and his people!

The most destructive habit..............................Worry

We breeders have a tendency to worry about if a puppy is going to grow up and realize the potential that we saw in him from the time he took his first step. Sometimes we need to sit back and let the youngster grow up even if it takes him a few years to do it. No one says he has to become a champion from the puppy glasses. Practice patience!

The greatest Joy.................................................Giving

There is nothing more rewarding than giving to those that are on the receiving end of ones generosity. Nowhere is this more evident than with those that help the German Shepherds that are discarded and thrown away like garbage. Rescue is another word for “Giving!”

The greatest loss........................Loss of self-respect

When we see some people doing whatever it is that they feel they need to do to win whether it’s dying a dog’s coat, cosmetically changing a dog’s appearance, using drugs to enhance a dog’s attitude in the ring or buying a judge with favors then it’s time to re-evaluate why you are showing in the first place. When one resorts to underhanded politics to win or get ahead, then not only do they lose people’s interest in their dogs but lose their self-respect among their peers. Once they’re found out, people avoid them like the plague. Selling out to the devil is never a winning proposition!

The most satisfying work....................Helping others

We too often hear of all the bad things other people are doing and unfortunately not enough of all the good things people are doing in this breed. When’s the last time we thanked the rescue workers for all that they do? How about all the many, many volunteers that make up the Parent Club, The German Shepherd Dog Club of America? Thank you….just two little words that mean so very much!

The ugliest personality trait....................Selfishness

When those few in the breed are only concerned about what’s in it for me than the whole breed suffers because many people will believe that this is what the people in our breed are all about. When the needs of certain people become before the needs of the breed than we are viewed as people that don’t really care and only want what we want.

The most endangered species........Dedicated leaders

Oh my goodness nowhere is there truer in our breed than right now. The Parent Club of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America is in need of strong, dedicated leaders that can lead us out of the darkness of “behind closed door” meetings and bring the club of the greatest breed of dog on this earth to the membership where it belongs!

Our greatest natural resource....................Our youth

We need to remember that our youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the guardianship of the German Shepherd Dog and its clubs and dog shows. Treat our youth kindly, guide our youth and help make them the type of people that can take the responsibility of this great breed to future generations to flourish and grow.

The greatest "shot in the arm"...........Encouragement

Encourage and help the new person so they will look forward to carry on the tradition of responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership.

The greatest problem to overcome........................Fear

Do not fear something that hasn’t even happened because 99% of the time it won’t happen anyway. So do that breeding. Show that dog. Volunteer for that committee!

The most effective sleeping pill.............Peace of mind

I love this one. When you are honest about your breeding program, about your showing ethics, about your involvement in this breed, then you know you’ve done it the right way and indeed sleep will come easily.

The most crippling failure disease....................Excuses

He tried to bite the judge because he had an upset stomach that morning. He didn’t win because the judge is a crook instead of really; truly looking at and evaluating your dog……he’s just not that good!

The most powerful force in life..............................Love

If you don’t know what love is after owning one of these fabulous dogs then you better go out and buy yourself a marble statue which has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever no less capable of giving you any love!

The most dangerous pariah.............................A gossiper

Do you want to know what a gossiper is? Come follow me, let me introduce you to some of the worlds best……welcome to the world of dog people!

The world's most incredible computer..........The brain

Put your brain to good use and you’ll own a good dog. Put your dog’s brain to good use and you’ll own an incredible dog!

The worst thing to be without................................ Hope

If you don’t come into this breed with hope in your heart, then you’re surely get what you’re expecting……nothing!

The deadliest weapon.......................................The tongue

See gossiper……some lives have been destroyed by a vicious tongue!

The two most power-filled words......................."I Can"

You’ll do in this breed (and life) what you believe “you can!”

The greatest asset......................................................Faith

Believe it can be done and it will be!

The most worthless emotion................................Self-pity

“Oh if only my dog was bred by so and so. If only my dog had better bitches bred to him. If only I was friends with the judge, then my dog would win.” Cry me a river!!

The most beautiful attire.....................................SMILE!

Be more friendly, being more approachable. Smile when you don’t even really feel like it. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. People like happy people.
The most prized possession.............................. Integrity

Never sell yourself short to win a dog show or breed to a dog because everyone else is doing it. Be true to yourself!

The most powerful channel of communication.....Prayer

Yes it takes a good dog to win, but sometimes it takes a little bit of luck and a whole lot of prayers!

The most contagious spirit..............................Enthusiasm

Everybody loves a winner is not necessarily true in the show ring, but even when there are those that are not happy for your win, show your enthusiasm for the breed anyway. Who knows, they just might hate you a little bit more!!!

From the book: "THE BOOK OF POSITIVE QUOTATIONS"....This book is the best I've seen....on positive quotes and inspirational ones....If you're into inspirational quotes and want them broken down by category, this is your book.

My rating: Raising, breeding & showing dogs with integrity: (4)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today I’d like to thank Liza (with a “Z”) Minnelli for today’s topic! You see I’m a big fan of “You Tube” and all the many entertaining videos of song and movies. So I was pulling up some of my all time favorite “Oldies but Goodies” songs of my youth. Anyway when you listen to one song, there are many other entertainers that sing their own version of the song. So this is how I came across some of the videos of this phenomenal entertainer.

Liza and I go back many years. You see when I was first married and I got my first German Shepherd puppy, we lived in a ground level apartment. She was a little coated bitch with the most marvelous temperament and had a zest for life. We had a neighbor that lived upstairs that liked to vacuum her apartment around eleven o’clock every night. None of my requests for her to turn her music down made a hill of beans to her. She also had a teenager son who liked to bang on his drums from morning to night. I was very young at the time and a lot more tolerant of annoying loud noises than I am today. So one day I went out and bought a newly released album (yes that’s what they had then… CD’s) of Liza Minnelli’s called “Liza with a Z”…….I must have heard a positive review about it on the television because I was not really familiar with her music. I was too busy listening to rock and roll.

Anyway I bought the album and became an immediate fan of hers because of her powerhouse voice (truly a daughter of her mother Judy Garland)and the way she interprets a song. And truth be told, I needed her “pipes” to drown out the rude people that lived upstairs. So that’s how I became familiar and very much appreciative of Liza’s music. I liked her so much, that I went and seen her in concert twice. Talk about star power. She “owned” the stage. She gave me goose bumps listening to her!

So my first German Shepherd was either enduring the loud drum practice of a teenage “not so good drum player” or the vocal pipes of an electrifying singer. As I said, she had excellent temperament and was very tolerant of anything that came her way. So where is this topic leading me to anyway?

There are times in our lives that literally give us goose bumps. How many of those goose bump moments have been related to the German Shepherd dog? When was the last time that you watched the National Specials class and one of those dogs took your breath away? Was it the Grand Victor or was it another Select dog that you liked a whole lot better but the judge had a different opinion? Or maybe you were crazy about the Grand Victor that had been chosen and watching him crowned gave you goose bumps.

Anyone that was at the 1985 National Specialty show surely can agree with me that that year’s Grand Victrix Ch Lynrik’s Kristal gave all the spectators a “goose bump” moment. She was handled by a very young and talented Leslie Dancosse. Kristal’s leash was dropped when Leslie took a minor misstep and the bitch continued to gait around the ring as if Leslie was still attached to the end of her lead. I’ll never forget it or the roar of the audience at watching this little bitch perform her little heart out. She was indeed what a Grand Victrix should be.

What about when you have a new litter and they start to gait across your backyard. One stands out from the rest. One begs you to “look at me”……”keep me, you’re not going to regret it.” She stops and sets herself up without any training to do so. She takes your breathe away. You run to the phone and call the stud dog owner and tell him, you have a future Grand Victrix in your kennel!

Perhaps you’ve entered one of your dogs in a performance arena and he got a perfect score. All your hard work and training paid off and you were beaming with pride at the athletic abilities of your dog being realized. He looks up into your eyes as if to say, “We did good mom!” And indeed, he has!

Maybe you are one of the hard working, unselfish rescue workers that are called upon time and time again to help the “unfortunates” of our beloved breed. You could write a book about all that you have witnessed. You are not in it for any rewards or blue ribbons. You’re in it for the most simplest of reasons. You just plain old “give a damn!” Your reward is seeing another German Shepherd rescued and placed into his “forever” home. When a dog is down to his last day in the shelter before he’s getting ready to meet his maker and you walk and sometimes literally run into the shelter just in time, well damn if that isn’t a “goose bump” moment, I don’t know what is!

Your child loves dogs and he would love to become more involved with them so he helps groom them, he helps train them and then he asks you, “Mom can I show Duke myself in the ring? Can I please Mom?” Well your chest swells with pride at your child’s request and sure you’ll give him the chance to show his own dog. When he takes his feet into the ring for the very first time and he looks in your direction and sees you clapping for him, his eyes light up and a smile escapes his lips, you just know that you’re watching a “handler in the making!” You bet it’s a goose bump moment!

Having a senior dog that can barely walk because he’s crippled with arthritis respond to a medicine or supplement that puts a new spring in his step, gives you hope for your old guys later years and this too is a "goose bump" moment.

The pride of German Shepherd ownership or any dog for that matter brings along with it some very special ‘goose bump’ moments. From the wet, sloppy kiss planted on the new baby in the house, to the guardianship of that baby, to looking out the window for little “Johnny” getting off the bus……..all “goose bump: moments. It is not after all, just about the show wins, it’s about truly living each day with these exceptional dogs. To miss a moment with them means you may have deprived yourself of one of those “goose bump” moments. All you need to do is pay attention……its coming!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I woke up this morning and the sun is shining here in New York.  It’s a crisp 52 degrees and the weather is comfortable for the dogs that are lying on my back porch.  I poured myself a cup of coffee and turned the computer on to see what was happening with my Shepherd friends.  Some people are still talking about club business, others talking about litters or shows that they’ve been to.  Some I read, some I delete.  Same old, same old I say to myself.  Then I open the letter with the subject line saying “Wednesday Morning” because I see it’s from my friend Dawn. 

I start to read the e-mail and the first line I read is about this little sable ball of fur.  I knew it was going to be downhill from there.  Dawn’s beautiful “Kizzy” had passed away.  She knew it was just a matter of time.  She had been ill for a little while now and everyday she was here was a blessing for her loving owner.  I won’t elaborate anymore here about the beautiful “Kizzy.”  I’ve asked Dawn when she’s up to it, to write her story for I knew that I would not be able to do her justice.  I would only be able to skip around the perimeters of this wonderful dog’s life.  I know of no one that could do her more justice than her owner who she shared her life with. 
People that are not “in the know” question us who love our dogs like they are part of the family……..they think we have a tendency to “humanize” them too much.  How can they even question or comment about the relationship that man has with his dog when they have never known this special “unlike any other love” that we dog owners are privileged to share?  They are right in one way.  Dogs are not human.  And that in itself makes them so special.  They have truly been blessed with having the biggest of hearts filled with an undying love for his master.  They love blindly, unselfishly, and with the purest of all loves that man could ever hope to have.  Truly not to know what it feels like to have the love from a dog, man is depriving himself of the most perfect love that God has sent to us! 

The dog says so much without ever uttering a word.  I once read somewhere that love is a verb… action.  And so indeed with the dog it truly is.  For he cannot tell us how he feels like some empty words a person may whisper in your ear while deceiving you behind your back.  He is constantly showing us how he feels.  He can’t tell you “I love you” so he must show you that he loves you.  He must be demonstrative in order for him to convey that his love is true.  So truly the old saying, “actions speak louder than words” was indeed written for the dog because his actions are his unspoken words!

Sharing your life with a dog can only enrich it.  There is so much to learn from these marvelous animals.  They are only here for a short time and have only been sent to us for one reason and that I believe is to teach us how to love.  Every single one of them is a gift and if we never open that gift because we left him in a kennel or tied him up to a tree, then I believe we have insulted the sender of that package of fur.  How many of us are wealthy enough to throw away love?  It is there for our taking if we open up our hearts for it.
Dogs know how to make a fool of themselves and never make an apology for it.  They know how to have fun and play without asking our permission to do it.  They know how to enjoy life.  They are ever playful no matter what age they are.  They invite us to be a kid again!  They truly have a “forget your troubles, come on get happy” type of attitude.  They truly don’t take life too seriously.  Aren’t they lucky that they don’t know how to worry?  They are sent to us to be a distraction from worry.  They remind us it’s alright to let our inhibitions down and to let loose once in awhile. 

Every time that an animal is destroyed in a shelter, every time an animal dies at the hands of his abuser, every time he is left to starve, we have prevented love from being on this earth.  The more we destroy love, the more the doors are open for hate, evil and injustice.  No time in recent history is this earth in need of more love.  Will owning a dog change the world?  Maybe not over night, but I bet that a dog can soften some of the hardest of hearts.  Not all can be reached, but some just need to know what it feels like receiving the purest form of love with no expectations.  I may be philosophical here, but love is really the most basic of needs that man has besides food, water and shelter.   Not everyone will meet that love of their life, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t experience what it feels like to know love.  Dog’s primary purpose on this earth is to be with man.  If man keeps destroying the very thing that he most needs in a corrupt world, then pretty soon there won’t be anymore love to go around.  Dogs are love! 

Want to know what love is?  Go get yourself a puppy and experience some puppy breath and kisses laid upon you.  Adopt a senior dog that has the wisdom of his short life in those big brown eyes of his and go share your secrets with him.  All he asks for is a gentle stroke of your hand upon his head letting him know that he stills has a purpose here on earth. 

Dogs know how to forgive and let go.  They don’t know the first thing about what a grudge is.  If you give them the second best of everything and keep the best for yourself, he won’t remind you of it at a later time.  He’s just happy you thought enough of him to give him anything at all. 

If we live in a chaotic confused world, it’s because we have made it that way.  Want a stress reliever?  Next time you reach for the Xanax, put a leash around your dog’s neck and take him for a walk instead.  You’ll both sleep better.

From the book:  "LOVE:  WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT"......This book is about love. What it is and what it isn't. It is about you--and about everybody who has ever reached out to touch the heart of another. Among many other lessons of the heart, Leo Buscaglia reminds us: Love is open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.

My rating:   Living your life with and being loved by a dog:  (4)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


You’ve been preparing to show your newest little superstar before he was even born. You planned his breeding; you socialized him, trained him, and groomed him getting him ready for his first introduction into the show ring. You’ve made preparations to hire the best handler that money can afford. You “talked” him up to your friends and family. You even showed a picture or two of him on some of the show dog lists. You did a real good job of selling him to the show dog public. People now are starting to talk about him and anticipating seeing a real “head turner” when he walks into the ring.

The big day arrives. In trots your much “hyped” up superstar. You see people starting to whisper and you accept this as an acceptance of his star power. You smile to yourself knowing they haven’t seen anything yet. Just wait until they see your guy move around that ring. Off he goes and he’s charging around the ring. You’re beaming with pride about his great showmanship and attitude. People are whispering even more now. The judge calls his handler out to the center of the ring for a loose lead temperament test. Your dog is bucking and jumping pulling the handler in the opposite direction. Finally the handler gets him to the center of the ring. The dog blows his mind when the judge tries to examine him. Oh he doesn’t try to bite the judge; he’s too scared for that. So the judge sends him to the back of the line and that is where he stays as the winners are handed their ribbons and you’re handed back your dog.

Now the whispers grow louder and you can’t help but overhear some of the snide remarks made as you and your dog walk by. “Even if he didn’t blow his mind, he’s not that much better than a pet dog” someone says a little too loudly. “That’s not movement. He was running because he was afraid of his handler” another voice says.

Showing dogs is not just about getting a dog ready and prepared for the show ring. You better learn to be pretty tough skinned when you are showing dogs. Naturally the above scenario is in the extreme. But sometimes even the best of dogs can have an off day and they may be a little unruly in the show ring. People will talk if a dog looks at them the wrong way. Some people can be down right cruel when it comes to showing dogs. It is a competition and some are out to win no matter which way they can do it. Step aside if you are faint of heart because you may get run over.

There is a whole psychology in the showing of dogs. No one likes to lose, but if you don’t learn how to lose well, then you’re going to carry it from show to show. And an angry competitor is not a very nice person to be around. The dog picks up on it. Ring side picks up on it and the other exhibitors pick up on it. All and all it doesn’t make for a very enjoyable show experience. Showing should be fun. If it isn’t, then what are you doing it for? I can think of a lot of other ways to spend one’s time than doing something that turns your insides upside down.

If you don’t psychologically prepare yourself to show dogs then you may be in for a big shock. All the preparation in the world of getting your dog ready to be shown will not take the sting out of losing with this dog that you have placed so much hope in. If you have a good dog, common sense will tell you that sooner or later, he will be rewarded as being such. To lose control of yourself because one or two judges don’t agree with you is silly. Even the best of dogs will lose throughout their show careers. It’s to be expected in any sport. It’s the nature of the beast if you will. You win some and you lose some. Everybody likes to win. No one likes to lose. But lose you will and if you don’t know how to lose, you can make yourself sick about it!

Oh sure there will be some times that you lose and your dog lost to a better dog that day. Come on admit it now…….the other dog was better on this day. And then there will be those days that you lose to an inferior dog and you want to scream! Go ahead and do it if you have to, but try to do it away from the ring so the judge doesn’t feel like you’re going to jump the rope and strangle her! Probably the worst loss would be when you feel like you walked into a set up situation. You know the ones that I mean. The winning dog/bitch was determined before he even set foot in the ring! And before you die hard “believe that all judges are honest” fans shout that never happens…………..OH YES IT DOES! In this case, if you feel like jumping the rope to strangle the judge, ask your friends to hold you back so you don’t lose your AKC privileges and you can still show your dog under honest judges in the future!

Let me tell you, if you are reading this and have never shown a dog before it can be very nerve wracking. Headaches are throbbing temples, tempers are at their most unattractive stage, stomachs are doing cartwheels, intestines are in knots and exhibitors are fighting for the next free bathroom seat in the nearest restroom! I kid you not. I know I’ve been there before.

Talk about catty people……my goodness gracious just walk around ringside and eaves drop if you must and listen and watch the tongues……….they’re wagging faster than your dog’s tail. This is where people come to observe, to compare, to learn and yes to gossip. It’s alright I guess if you are one that is partaking of the sometimes unsavory conversations, but what about if you’re on the opposite side of this equation and you’re the one that they are gossiping about? It can be pretty painful stuff………if you let it get to you. If you go to the show knowing that sometimes your feelings will get hurt because people may not like your dog and are talking negatively about him, then you may be better prepared to deal with it. If on the other hand you go to the show and EXPECT that everyone will love your dog, you may be in for a rude awakening.

Showing dogs can be some of the most thrilling times of your life and some of the most positive as well. You must bring along with you the right attitude. If you do, your losses will not overcome you. You’re smart enough to know it just comes with the territory. Tomorrow is another day and another judge!

Go to the show knowing you love your dog and hope that others will as well. If they don’t, don’t take it personally. Remember you are competition the moment you step foot on the show ground. Not everyone will like your dog and so what. Take him home and love him anyway. Have fun and don’t let the psychological warfare of showing dogs get to you. If it does, then maybe this is not the sport that you should be in. If you’re not having fun, then do something else with your dog where you are having fun! The German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent of breeds. If you’re not enjoying yourself and are tense and upset, he knows and feels it. You can’t expect him to perform his best if you are not willing to accept the consequences of his performance on that day!

From the DVD: "CAUTION: SHOW DOGS!"......Behind all the glamour and excitement lies the never-ending hard work, enormous amounts of love and an all-consuming dedication that is difficult to imagine. Get to know four top breeders, and their dogs, while sharing the years of knowledge and experience required to produce consistent champions. In fact, the full-length movie CAUTION: SHOW DOGS! puts you behind-the-scenes so you can share the excitement and exhilaration of the world of SHOW DOGS!

My rating: showing dogs: (3 -4)

Friday, November 5, 2010


Ever think that sometimes people come into your life for a reason? How about a dog? Have you ever wondered why certain dogs come into your life? Ever wonder why you hold onto a certain dog that you had no intention of doing so? I believe every person and every animal comes into our lives for a reason…….good and bad. I look at it as a learning experience. I have known some down right, no good for nothing, evil so and so’s but then again I know some outstanding people that I’m proud to be called one of their friends. Sometimes you’re not even looking for someone to come into your life, but in they march or sometimes tiptoe in and your life is forever changed. Some things and some people and some dogs are just meant to be together like the man and dog in this story.

This is a review about a story about a dog and a man that were “put” together or meant to be together. The book is called “ONE GOOD DOG.” From the cover of the book, it says…..”A wonderful novel: a moving, tender, and brilliantly crafted story about two fighters – one a man – one a dog hoping to leave the fight behind, who ultimately find their salvation in each other.

It is a story about a man that was a real snob and that had it all, the big job, the big money, the big houses and cars. On his constant on going climb to having it all; he commits an act that has legal, moral and financial consequences. Ultimately, he falls from grace and loses everything including family, friends and job. He ends up working in a homeless shelter where at the same time he ends up adopting a dog. Although the dog isn’t a German Shepherd, it doesn’t matter as it could have been any dog. His dog like him is also a cast out of society because he was a Pit Bull mix that had been raised for fighting. This is a story of how these two “down on their luck” characters find one another. Call it “karma” if you will, but they were brought together by their circumstances in life. It’s a story about resolutions and the bond that grows that opens the door for a better life for the man and his dog because of it.

It is a story about redemption and how a man and his homely dog that no one else wanted find beauty and love in their friendship. Although the man presents himself as a brave and powerfully tough person, he is emotionally damaged and scarred whereas, the dog also has the physical attributes of the man, he too is damaged by what has happened to him in his life as well as physically scarred.

Dog rescue people or those that have worked in shelters will love this book as well as all dog lovers. It shows one what really matters in the dog/human relationship. The rescue or shelter workers know all too well that a dog like the dog in this book is the one that most people will have had put to sleep without even given it another thought. It is this dog, this “societies reject” that takes an egotistical man and makes him understand what life is truly about. It is through his relationship with this dog that he discovers himself.

The emotionally and physically scared dog and the emotionally damaged man learn lessons that only they could have taught one another. Some dogs were just meant to be in your life even if you didn't understand why they were there to start with. Maybe it was to help teach us something that we needed to learn. This story is a “tug at your heart” emotional ride, but it’s one that you wish wouldn’t end!

From the book: "ONE GOOD DOG" - Fans of Marley and Me will find a new dog to cheer for in Wilson's (Beauty) insightful heart-tugger about Adam March, a Boston man recovering from the shame of a foolish crime, and Chance, a scrappy pit bull mix trying to escape the illegal dogfight circuit. Adam, 46, is a ruthless self-made millionaire married to an icy socialite living a picture-perfect existence that includes a teen princess daughter. Then he loses his job for slapping his assistant, Sophie, full across the face after she gives him a message that reads: Your sister called. Forty years ago, Adam's sister, Veronica, ran away leaving Adam with their widowed dad, who subsequently placed Adam into foster care. For his violent act, Adam is sentenced to perform community service at a homeless men's shelter where the adorable Chance teaches Adam about survival and what matters. Chance tells his story in his own words, which makes his mistreatment and return to the fighting pit powerfully disturbing. Combined with Wilson's unflinching portrayal of Adam's struggle to overcome his past, Old Yeller's got nothing on this very good man and his dog story.

My rating: "One Good Dog" - (4)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Someone wrote to me this morning and asked me if I could write about this subject. So I gave it a little thought and decided, “Sure, why not?” Everyone in dogs has a “first time” doing something. The woman that wrote to me was so thrilled that she had just put the first point on one of her own animals that she was showing. Here are her own words: “I handled my girl Piper a few weeks ago in Urbana Ohio. Nothing new except she went Winners Bitch. I was on cloud nine and sill am. It’s the first time I ever put a points on my own bitch. I handled others and got majors, but this was different. It is a very special feeling, one that I have never experienced before, and I hope to again and again. I know I will never forget it.”

Looking back in my own involvement in dogs, I was never that talented to show my own dogs so I left it to the professionals. I probably am the world’s worst double handler and every professional handler’s worst nightmare so pretty much the dog was left to win on his own merit. The very first time that I ever showed at a major specialty show, I hired Jimmy Moses and my dog won a big four or five point major and back in those days the entries were huge. First of all I was thrilled that Mr. Moses was showing my dog because I was a young, “just starting out” novice and he consented to show my dog. So that was my “first time” having a cream of the crop handler showing for me. Then the other “first time” was that my dog won his first major! So those two things stand out in my mind of “first time” events. I remember driving to the show that day, but I don’t remember driving back home because I was floating, because my feet hadn’t stepped back on the ground yet.

Then there are memories of the first litter I ever bred and there are memories of the first champion I ever finished and the first champion I ever bred. There are memories of the first “big shot” I ever talked to and that was so sweet and supportive of me. That was Carol McPheron who owned GV Ch Scorpio of Shiloh Gardens. She was just the nicest and most helpful person to a newcomer like me.

Can I ever forget the first time an icon of the breed bred to my stud dog? When Bill Goldbecker bred one of his German bred bitches to my dog, I couldn’t believe it. He was a fascinating man who knew a lot about the breed. He didn’t let you forget it either. Now most people when they breed to your dog, they bring the bitch to him. Nope, Bill expected and he got me bringing my stud dog to his bitch. What did I care anyway? He thought enough of my dog to breed to him.

Could I have been any luckier than to be able to lease a bitch for my very first litter from the kennels of Marge Dolan of Dolmar Shepherds? She was from the famous Reno/Rhyme combination. I’ve always said it many times on this blog, I was VERY LUCKY when I first started out to have some knowledgeable people take me under their wings.

Another first for me was when the GREAT, late Joan Ford judged a match show. The entry was huge. I kid you not; there must have been a hundred entries that day. The sun was shining brightly; a cool breeze was in the air……a perfect combination for a dog show. We entered our sable “Charlie” son and without a professional handler at the end of the leash. Well can I tell you when she pointed to him and gave him Best Puppy at this match; you would have thought he just won the Grand Victor title. I was stunned that she awarded our super moving puppy this title.

Then owning BIM Ch Arbar’s Xanadu ROM afforded me many, many “firsts.” She was the best thing that ever happened to me in dogs for a gazillion and one reasons. She was a once in a life time dog and I owe her so much more than she ever got.

And writing this article wouldn't be complete if I didn't include when I bought my very "first" German Shepherd Dog, Helga. Bought from a pet shop, but loved like she was a champion because although she may have taught me everything that a good quality German Shepherd shouldn't look like conformation wise, she also served to remind me of the fantastic mind and temperament of this breed. And after all that was the real reason I bought a German Shepherd to begin with. It was who they were that attracted me to them in the first place. It was their nobility, loyalty and the love for their master that first caught my eye. My very first German Shepherd made me realize that my first choice of a dog breed was the right choice for me.

So looking back over my ownership and involvement with the breed, I remember many “firsts.” How about you? Do you remember some “firsts” in your dog show career? Do you remember the thrill of it all? Did it feel different then then what it feels like today when you win? Do you still get that “rush” when you win? Are there still “firsts” that you are looking forward to experiencing?

From the book: "CHOOSING GRATITUDE: YOUR JOURNEY TO JOY" - Gratitude is a choice. If we fail to chose it, by default we choose ingratitude. And once allowed into the heart, ingratitude does not come by itself but with a lot of other seedy companions that only succeed in stealing joy. To not choose gratitude - daily and deliberately - is more costly than we usually realize. And when we do choose a lifestyle of heartfelt, humble gratitude, we are mindful of the benefits received from our gracious Savior and those He has placed around us. By intentionally thanking God and others, bitterness and entitlement are replaced with joy and the humble realization of just how undeserving we really are. Derived from a popular Revive Our Hearts radio series, Choosing Gratitude: The Path to Joy challenges and equips the reader to live a life of intention. A life based on thankfulness - for the freedom Christ has provided and for the blessings of others.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I open the hall closet looking for my boots. I know I’ve shoved them in here somewhere. Oh there they are in the back with one scattered over here and the other one over there. I have to reach in deeper in the closet to get the second boot. It’s leaning haphazardly against an old cardboard box. The box looks familiar but I don’t remember what I put in it. I drag the box to the front of the closet as I kneel on the floor to peek inside to see what treasures I may have hid in there. I see piles and piles of pictures. Big pictures, little pictures, even black and white pictures. I gently pull out a small handful of photos and lay them on the carpet next to me.

Memories all come alive as they play with my brain begging me to remember and asking me to walk down memory lane as one picture after another transports me to another time and place. Was I ever that young and skinny I ask myself, looking at those hip huggers I’m wearing complimenting a slender, youthful frame? There’s one of me with the wind blowing my hair across my face as I’m playing on the beach with my very first German Shepherd puppy. My how inquisitive she was. There wasn’t anything that frightened her. Waves rolled onto the shoreline crashing gently across her paws. She moved back as if she knew that a larger wave might carry her out to sea. She was small but smart enough not to venture too far from the sandy beach that her paws felt secure on. Oh there’s another picture that shows how I drew a heart with her name “Helga” sketched in the wet sand. Just 24 years old and my future was waiting to become my history.

I reached in the box and pull out a few more pictures. Oh there’s one of me holding a chubby little puppy not more than six weeks old. I thought he was chubby then, but that was because he had this fluffy coat around his head making him look more like a Lion then a puppy. I would soon find out that fine “feathering” would signify that he was a coated pup.

Oh here’s a show win picture of Connie Beckhardt giving my Xanadu Best of Breed at “The German Shepherd Dog Club of Eastern Connecticut.” Sadly the club is no longer in existence and nether is my friend Connie. I can still hear her sweet voice when we would talk on the telephone almost like it was yesterday. “Oh hello Barbara dear” she would greet me. Some years later I would run into her again at the Westminster Kennel Club down at Madison Square Garden. She was already sick now as she told me, but I embraced her and smiled and acted like she would be around forever. I had no way of knowing that was the last time I would see one of the icons of the breed as I gently kissed her on the cheek and bid her fair well.

What’s this picture laying upside down on the floor? I turn it over and it’s another show win picture of Xanadu winning Best of Breed under Dave Rinke with the only time the late, great LaMar Kuhns handled her. I smiled looking at his devious little face with his one eyebrow raised in the air staring deeply into the photographer’s camera. Showman extraordinaire……that was LaMar. This short, robust, boisterous most colorful of all those at ringside man would play an important part of my memories when I looked back on my show and breeding career. “Barbara darling what do you think of my dog?” he would ask as he proudly displayed his newest superstar while standing in the ring. His newest superstar was the great Ch. Wellsprings Ironsides or Charlie as he was known.  I keep shaking my head back and forth looking at that picture saying to myself what a character he was.  Just look at those "colorful" pants and his bright jacket to coordinate his look!  He was such a great promoter of a dog if he loved him and he loved this dog.

I reach in the box and pull out another handful of memories. ‘Oh these go way back”, I say to myself. There is another icon of the breed, Lorraine Clifford stacking and posing her great “H” boys, Hawkeye and Hammer so a very young and still very “wet around the ears me” could take their pictures. And here’s another one of her setting up her beautiful young stud dog “Steel Curtain.” “Wow”, I find my self saying out loud. He’s the very first stud dog that I ever bred a bitch to. In fact, I pick up that picture of the coated puppy and remember now that he is the father to the little fluff ball.

I pick up another picture and this one’s more personal. It’s a New Year’s Eve party at my house with all my dog friends. It’s aged quite a bit as have the people in the picture. How festive, how joyful as everyone is standing with a drink in their hands rose up in the air with funny New Year’s Eve hats on their heads. There’s Nancy, there’s John, there’s a pregnant Jane and her husband Sylvan, there’s Ruth and Joe and Nick and Ed too. Smile everyone for the camera for you’re never going to look this young again.

There’s the picture of the chocolate mousse cake with “Congratulations Ch Xanadu ROM” handwritten in white icing almost too pretty to cut into. “You guys don’t really want me to cut into this cake, now do you?” First her championship party…….I wonder if I have pictures of that one as well, and now her ROM party. “Did dog people really need a reason to party?’ I giggle to myself.

Yes pictures of first litters and last litters too. Champion pictures, new “superstar” hopefuls set up on the front lawn, puppies playing “catch me if you can” and there’s even a few of my mother holding those twin coated puppies on her lap that were so easy to sell. Yes, they’re all gone now, my beloved mother included. But the pictures allow me to open up the flood of memories that always remain when all else is gone.

I pick up the pictures and carefully put them back in the box promising myself I will finish going through the rest of them another time. Like the pictures in that box, those faces of all the people and dogs I’ve known before remain forever in my heart as part of those that I’ve cherished and have helped make my journey on this earth what it has been. I wonder if I've thanked them enough.  I wonder if they knew I cared enough.  I wonder if I showed them how much they meant to me.  Some are gone and some remain but all have left their impressions, with their voices still echoing in my mind. They’ve help shape, helped mold, helped encouraged a “thirst for knowledge” young girl that I used to be to the matured, sometimes gray around the temples woman than I’ve become.

I push the box inside the closet, close the door and walk away with a smile on my face feeling like that 24 year old once again if only for a brief moment or two. I pat my dog on the head as I go down the stairs with a new spring in my step carrying my memories with me. When’s the last time you looked inside your cardboard box and remembered?

From the book:  "THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU" - "I have filed away at least a million things to thank you for, but somehow I never got around to actually telling you what I felt nearly as often as I wanted to." --BTG, inside Thank You for Being You.  This book makes up for every thank you letter you forgot to send. The perfect expression of gratitude for parents, friends, siblings, co-workers, and loved ones.
New York Times best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive (BTG) knows a thing or two about offering thanks. He has penned 15 book titles that have been published in more than 105 countries and have sold more than 15 million copies. That's an awful lot of thank you letters to write, so BTG decided to pen the ultimate acknowledgement of appreciation ideal for expressing a range of gratitude-induced sentiment.  So, for all the thank you letters you may have sent, and especially for those you forgot to mail, consider this the long-overdue, but perfect message.

My rating:  People and animals make your life's journey what it is today:  (4)

Monday, November 1, 2010


When I see all of the titles that some people have attached to their dogs names in the front of it as well as the end of it, I’m totally amazed. These breeder/owners are truly utilizing everything that is available to them to get their dogs titled whether its conformation, obedience, hips/elbows, or heath and temperament. This then is truly a partnership. The dog is genetically born to be what he will be, but it is the owner’s true dedication to ensure that her animal will be that and so much more!

I remember one of the icons of the breed wrote to me privately about something I wrote one time and he told me that he is the creator of the puppies that he produces. He is the genius behind their greatness! He was certainly very successful and his dogs are behind many of today’s top winners but his words made me stop and think. I think the word “create” made me uncomfortable. I think one may say that they are the “mastermind” behind their dog’s greatness. One may say that they are responsible for the combination of the bloodlines that their dogs have. But I don’t know that I agree with the theory that man creates the dogs that he owns. We can’t create the DNA combination that our dogs carry in their bloodlines. Sure because we are their breeders, we chose the partners for our dogs and therefore are responsible for the bloodlines that our puppies have, but we can never take credit for the combination of those genes because we just don’t know which ones will produce the finished animal. That is up to the true creator to establish that.

I believe that breeders can produce some outstanding dogs. The dog may have every wonderful physical and mental attribute that one may wish for. He may be the best side gaiting dog you ever bred. His coat, his pigment, his secondary sex characteristics may be everything that you are looking for. Then you put him on a lead and he plods along side of you. You’ve even sent him away to be trained. You’ve taught him how to bait, you’ve rung the bells, you’ve coughed, you’ve clapped, you even did the occasional cart wheel or two at ring side to get your “uninterested” pooch’s attention. He may look in your direction like you’re crazy, but he still plods along side his “very expensive” handler. This is indeed the type of dog that makes you want to pull your hair out. He is everything you’ve ever wanted to breed for, but his lack of attitude challenges that assessment!

A champion quality young dog may be sitting in your backyard right now and no one will ever see him in the show ring. Oh you tried several times showing him, but it became clear to you that he was far more comfortable at home then running around in circles in some dirty old ring. This is every breeder/exhibitor’s nightmare. No attitude means his chance of winning his championship title is slim, but not impossible. If he does attain the title, you’ve probably vowed never to even try to put him in the specials class because getting him his championship title just about cost you your sanity.

So many young dogs may be born for greatness but will never realize his full potential because he has made up his mind that showing is just too darn boring and a waste of his precious time. I am a firm believer that you can’t put attitude in a dog. Either he has it or he doesn’t. It’s just like some people. Some people are very “out there” and jumping from one thing to another. It seems like they never can sit still. Then you have others that seem like they’re “half dead.” The sky could be falling and they wouldn’t even know it was happening. It’s no different with the dog.

I believe that the potential for a champion may be bred into him. I believe that the breeder/exhibitor is responsible to give her animal every chance to utilize that potential to become the best that he can be. I don’t believe however, that you can make a dog a champion without his cooperation.

My rating: Show Dogs need a good attitude for the conformation ring: (4)